back to article Anti-coal protestors rated top threat to Australian e-voting

Sarong-clad anti-coal hippies have been marked as a chief threat to online voting at the election scheduled to take place in 2015 in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). The protestors are identified as a threat in a report penned by CSC for the NSW government. The Reg has seen a copy of the report, which suggests …

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  1. Gray Ham

    "Brightwell said iVote should never become the main method of voting in the state because this would increase the chance of detecting online ballot stuffing since scammers would need to pump a huge amount of forged votes to influence elections"

    I must be misreading that ... it sounds like he wants the online ballot stuffing to be undetectable. But then again, it is New South Wales ...

    1. veti Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      The story is not well written or edited, but if you make some fairly simple punctuation corrections it does make sense.

      Small number of votes = good, because they can't influence the outcome (which does rather make one wonder why we're going to so much trouble to collect them in the first place, but democracy) unless they're overwhelmingly loaded towards one side or the other, which would be obvious.

      (And now I'm wondering, what would you do if they were overwhelmingly loaded? You can't just ignore them, that would obviate the point of collecting them in the first place. You can't recount them, because there's no way of doing that. And you can't rerun the whole election, because that's (a) horribly expensive, (b) pointless, as there's no reason to believe the result would be any different, and (c) the opposite of democratic, as it means you're basically setting aside a result on the grounds that you didn't like it.)

  2. Paul 129

    What am I missing.?

    You still want paper based voting. So a vote slip is printed and may be verified, recounted etc. But it must able to be electronicly scanned.

    Hell you could even printout your vote at home, zoom down to the pooling booth and submit it, there. If you didn't post it perviously. The only trick is ensuring that you only vote once.

    I hear Labor doesn't like that ;-)

  3. glen waverley
    Big Brother

    vote selling?

    Have to agree that the article is hard to comprehend, so this might not be a problem under whatever method is planned in NSW. But ...

    How does the iVote system (ie software plus operations plus user interaction) prevent vote buying? Hard to sell yr vote at a polling booth*. But can be easier to sell yr vote (and its corollary, easier to buy votes in bulk) if voting is done in the privacy of one's home. Or one's workplace. Or some other sort of place. OK, I'll accept that it takes some organising on the part of the perpetrators. But it may be worth it to ensure that votes go the way some nefarious elements want them to go.

    I understand that in USA, the process of voting in person at a dedicated place in a private booth is called the Australian vote. We call it the secret vote. No one knows how you voted**.

    * Actually, not hard to sell yr vote. But hard for the purchaser to verify that the goods were delivered according to spec, if you know what I mean.

    ** I have heard that in UK, the ballot paper has a serial number so that votes can be traced back to the serially numbered book they were issued from. Don't know if that is true. But might be borne in mind by UK readers when commenting on this thread.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: vote selling?

      True that in Britain, it is theoretically possible to correlate the ballot with the person who cast it (or at least with who they claimed to be when they turned up at the polling station, although there is generally no ID check at that stage).

      But to do that, you'd have to check and correlate 3 (I think) different paper records that are stored separately, and two of which can't normally (i.e. anytime after the official result is announced) be accessed without a court order or warrant of some sort, on pain of jail time.

      So we don't generally worry too much about it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "iVote collected 46,864 votes in the 2011 NSW state election by remote and disabled voters over phone and internet"

    What is this, Pollie Idol? Or, more likely, Idol Pollie. Seriously though, moving more and more towards electronic voting just seems like you want to hand the keys to choosing your next Government over to the NSA but perhaps that is just making the current process of US Government influence over allies a little clearer as we seem to be moving towards the United States of Australia whereby the poor can go f*ck themselves as the corporations provide all the essential services (for a large fee).

    On another note, damn those DDOSing outback farmers. FFS.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Pesky greenies

    Damn them and their terrorist anti-farming activities. Oh wait.

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